Pakistan bowl against New Zealand, Ferguson ruled out

On the back of their historic win over India, Pakistan take on New Zealand in a Group 2 match in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam won the toss and opted to field first against New Zealand.

Run-scoring at Sharjah has become relatively easier if the Sri Lanka-Bangladesh and Afghanistan-Scotland games are anything to go by. With dew coming in during the second half, whoever wins the toss would prefer to chase, as Azam has.

While Pakistan have already made a great start to the Super 12 with the win over India, this will be New Zealand’s first game in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.

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The Black Caps are playing their first match of the tournament, and will be keen to start strongly. They have batters who can clear the ropes at the top and in the middle, a reliable anchor in Kane Williamson, tall fast bowlers, quciks who can swing the new ball, and a spin attack with plenty of experience.

On the ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings, there is little to separate the teams. Pakistan are placed third, while New Zealand are fourth. Pakistan hold a historical edge over New Zealand in the format, though, having won 14 and lost 10 contests between the sides. The last series between the sides, in December 2020, went New Zealand’s way.

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Playing XIs

Pakistan are unchanged.

Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi.

New Zealand had Lockie Ferguson ruled out of the World Cup with a calf tear and was unavailable for selection.

New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson (c), Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Tim Seifert (wk), Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Trent Boult.

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